The only hospital in the Rockaways could soon lose almost all beds if it were proposed to convert it into a « micro-hospital » that would also lose up to 1,000 jobs.
Officials from the State Department of Health have plans supports the effective coring of St. John’s Episcopal Hospital in Far Rockaway despite its pivotal role during the coronavirus pandemic, the hospital authority said. The hospital treated Queens’ first known COVID-19 case nearly a year ago and is in the process of being located in the zip code, which had the Big Apple’s second highest death rate during its peak.
St. Johns is already the only full-service hospital on the peninsula – with 257 beds and 1,126 employees – but one with the state consulting firm has made proposals to drastically reduce capacity.
The most extreme proposal would turn it into a « micro-hospital » with 15 beds n – According to sources, this is the health ministry’s preferred proposal.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Wednesday that he was « 110 percent against this state plan, » which he described as « absolutely unacceptable ».
« The People in the Rockaways need more health care, not less. And in the middle of a pandemic? Are you talking about taking away the hospital they have? It’s ridiculous, « he said.
» This plan needs to be put on hold immediately, we need to strengthen health care for the people of the Rockaways. « Queens County President Donovan Richards told the Post that the proposal was a « death sentence » for the local community.
« St. John’s Hospital serves black and brown communities and is the only hospital on the Rockaways Peninsula, « he said, adding that pregnant women » have to leave the peninsula to have a baby. «
» So let’s treat ours Healthcare Heroes? We are going to put them on the food line? « he asked.
» I urge the state to repeal this proposal. We need to build more hospitals in Queens, « he said.
Rep. Khaleel Anderson (D-Far Rockaway) said the hospital was » critical « to the region and the plan was » catastrophic to my district « .
« It’s outrageous. It’s a slap in the face – it’s disrespectful to a district that has lost hundreds of people to COVID-19, » he told the Post, saying it was also « critically important « For the local economy.
» Almost half of the jobs in the Rockaways come from the health sector. So we have to save this hospital and fight against the Ministry of Health, « he said.
Bishop Lawrence Provenzano, who Hospital chief executives said they only worked with state officials « to provide our communities with the health services that are clearly needed ».
« How can you cut down on health services in this community. » en when they clearly need more? « he asked, saying he was » deeply saddened and concerned « about the move by the Ministry of Health, which will » cut over 1,000 jobs « .
» How many more people would have died if the Department of Health’s plan to turn St. Johns into a 15-bed micro-hospital had happened before the pandemic peaked? « he asked.
» We urge Governor Cuomo to take immediate action to prevent it that his health department is implementing plans to reduce funding and health services. «
The only hospital on the peninsula, St. Johns serves a population of more than 130,000 with 17 care facilities in the area – 90 percent of patients are on Medicaid or Medicare.
The 15 bed micro-hospital is the most extreme of the proposals put forward, and what state officials have said is the most likely right now.
Another would e Turn s into a 30-bed health complex with 337 employees, while the least drastic would keep 91 of the current 257 beds by eliminating obstetric, neonatal, and pediatric services, according to the Queen’s Eagle, who first revealed the plans.
The proposals were made by ToneyKorf Partners, who already had close ties with the state. In August, Governor Andrew Cuomo appointed ToneyKorf’s Senior Managing Director, Dr. Richard Becker, Assistant Secretary for Health and Human Services.
« I stayed in the emergency room two days before they got me a bed, » Jeanene Bennett, 55, told the Post after she was released. « It’s full … they have to build another hospital out here. »
Hope Hinds, 54, said patients now « have no choice but to go to Long Island or Jamaica, Queens – and.. [both] are too far. «
» I would appreciate it if you left this alone and left us at least one hospital here, « she complained.
Health Department spokeswoman Erin Silk, told the Queen’s Eagle that the state « has worked with the management of St. Johns Episcopal for several years to achieve better health outcomes and better access to the Far Rockaways ».
St. Johns agreed to cooperate Another hospital, Mount Sinai South Nassau, which ToneyKorf Partners hired to « help develop strategic options, » Silk said the eagle in a statement.
« The department looks forward to leading St. John’s Episcopal work together to un Among other things, consider these options and continue to provide significant operational support to St. John’s Episcopal, « she said.
Although cost-cutting has been considered for years, the severity of the proposals still shocked community leaders. » We are ready to prepare for a fight, « said Richards. « If anyone thinks they are going to close this hospital, they are wrong. »
« This proposal needs to be withdrawn immediately and the Ministry of Health needs to engage meaningfully with stakeholders to find a way forward, » stressed Turner-Biggs.
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